This new favorite in Nob Hill offers memorable views of Polk Street and food that takes the finer points of ingredients and details seriously, for the sake of small plates and hopes of a legacy linked its sister restaurant Acquerello.
Number of seats: 75
Average per-person check: $35
Popular dishes: Beef tartare with marcona almond, herbs and chile; bucatini with uni, garlic, red pepper and bread crumbs; fried duck sandwich with slaw, pickles and spicy aïoli
What people come for: Craft cocktails “with a culinary view”
Address: 1760 Polk St.
Related to A16 in San Francisco, this expansion to nearby Oakland shares the same name (a reference to a highway in Italy) and simple, stately Italian food with a soft spot for fare from Puglia.
Number of seats: 50
Average per-person check: $40
Popular dishes: Montanara Rockridge pizza with lightly fried dough, smoky tomato sauce, burrata and basil; Rachetta Pizza with tomato sauce, prosciutto cotto, basil, fior di latte, pioppini mushroom, ricotta and pecorino riserva; scallops with currants, senise pepper, pine nuts and shaved fennel
What people come for: 1,500-bottle wine cellar
Address: 5356 College Ave., Oakland, Calif.
Fire figures in some way into every dish at Saison, which makes a good case for use of the word “sublime” with a tasting menu that costs a lot and, according to those who love it, delivers even more.
Number of seats: 18
Average per-person check: $248 for a tasting menu of 18-20 courses
Popular dishes: Caviar with ember-roasted yam and grilled chicken gelée; king salmon, roe and anise hyssop; brassicas, toasted grains and wild seaweed bouillon
What people come for: Intimacy; 5,000 bottles of wine; unrestricted floor plan between dining room and kitchen
Address: 178 Townsend St.
The Iberian-inspired food at the Spanish restaurant Gitane underwent a change but, some say, got even better with the recent introduction of new chef Alicia Jenish.
Number of seats: 40
Average per-person check: $55
Popular dishes: Conejo y caracoles: pancetta-wrapped rabbit loin, morcilla blanca, braised snails, ramps and smoked marble potatoes; albondigas: braised rabbit and pork meatballs, spicy sofrito and oregano; canalones: pasta filled with roasted veal breast, lacinato kale and tetilla cheese
What people come for: Craft cocktails
Address: 6 Claude Lane
Photo: Jeff Dow
Italian and Spanish influences come to the forefront at many currently popular San Francisco restaurants.
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